Ralph “Rip’ Barrett arrived in Chula Vista courtesy of the US Navy where his father was a commander. Rip attended Chula Vista High School (1961-63) and he played varsity basketball and varsity tennis. When Castle Park High School opened in 1963, Rip transferred as a senior and was involved in the development of the school’s student government, selection of the school’s colors, mascot and other traditions.
During 1963-64, every event at Castle Park High School participated in was as a first-year school, leading many parents and fans to expect much effort but very little in the way of accomplishments; however, that was not the fate of the boys’ basketball team. Rip average 17.9 points per game and led San Diego prep basketball players with a total of 540 points. He was selected Castle Park’s MVP, Metro League’s MVP and First Team All-Conference while leading the first-year Trojan basketball team to a league championship for the first time in San Diego Country history. He was selected for a Los Angeles Herald Examiner Athlete with honors Award.
Rip also found time to play varsity tennis and was selected MVP. He graduated fifth in the Class of 1964 with a 3.7 GPA, served as Associated Student Body Vice President and Key Club President.
Rip attended Southwestern College from 1964-65 and continued his basketball career playing for Hall of Fame Coach George “Bud” Milke. Rip was the team’s leading scorer (18.6 PPG) and he was selected First team All-Pacific Southwest Conference as its second leading scorer. Rip speaks fondly of his playing days at Southwestern. “I was coached by one of the finest coaches to come from the San Diego area, Coach Milke. His teaching of fundamentals of the game and instillation of confidence in his players was invaluable. He was flexible and tailored his offense and defense to his available talent. He is a major reason I was able to succeed at all levels. Playing basketball at SWC allowed me to prove to four-year universities that I was capable of performing at the next level and enable me to achieve more scholarship offers and accept a scholarship to SDSU.”
Rip attended San Diego State University from 1965-69 where he majored in biology and minored in chemistry, graduating with high Honors and Distinction. In 1968-69, he was selected to the Second Team All-Conference California Collegiate Athletic Conference, SDSU won the Conference Championship and was nationally ranked from 1966-1969; the team finished in 3rd place in the NCAA Western regional Tournament in 1968.
Upon graduating from SDSU in 1969, Rip attended the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, graduating third in his class of 82 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in June 1973. He completed postgraduate degrees at Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine, earning his Certificate of Internship in 1974 and his Certificate of Residency in Veterinary Internal Medicine in 1976. From 1976-77, Rip taught Veterinarian Internal Medicine at Washington State University School of Veterinarian Medicine. He was selected as a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in June 1979.
In 1977, Rip co-found the second private specialty veterinary practice in the western United States, the Sacramento Animal Medical Group (SAMG). He trained over 140 interns and residents who have become leaders in the veterinary profession in clinical practice, research and teaching. He sold SAMG in 1999 and became Chief of Medicine and Head of Quality Control for 72 small animal veterinary hospitals with National Petcare Centers. During his career, he has published 23 peer reviewed scientific journal and textbook chapters and lectured nationally and internationally.
Rip has been married to his wife Rhonda for 46 years, and they have lived in Fair Oaks, CA since 1977. They have two children, Allison and Jeffrey. Allison is a credentialed elementary teacher who, with her husband Casey Lyon, owns a landscape construction business in the Monterey/ Carmel area. They have two children, River and Cambria. Jeffrey is an architect in the San Francisco Bay area, and he and his wife, Lenka, have two children, Artessa and Natasha.
Rip retired in 2009 and busies himself with travel, golf, fishing, bird dog training, gardening and bird hunting with “the smartest and sweetest Labrador Retriever in the world, Brody.”
For his stellar contributions as a student-athlete and as an educator in veterinary medicine, Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame is honored in induct Dr. Rip Barrett as a member of the Class of 2015.